COVID-19 Pandemic Heightens Struggles for AZ Families, Kids
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
PHOENIX -- A new report details the struggles of many Arizona families in the COVID-19 crisis, from unstable housing and hunger to a lack of health insurance and mental-health challenges.
The research from the Annie E Casey Foundation is a 50-state look at recent household survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau. David Lujan, director at the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, said the pandemic is putting stress on most Arizonans, but the report confirms communities of color are being disproportionately affected.
"I think the pandemic has shown the racial inequities that were already in place have only become exacerbated by the pandemic," Lujan said. "It really shows, I think, the need for our elected officials to step up and provide needed relief in these areas."
As an example, the report finds overall, 12% of Arizona families are now considered food insecure because of the pandemic. That number increases to 34% among African American families, 22% for mixed-race households, and 14% for Latino families.
The report identifies other stressors - the inability to make rent or mortgage payments, little or no access to health care, and increasing levels of depression and anxiety, especially among children. Lujan said state and federal assistance is crucial to ensuring Arizonans' health and well-being.
"This is not going to be the last crisis that we face in Arizona," he said. "We really have to look at what are the investments that we're making to lift up these communities, so that this doesn't happen again in the next crisis."
Leslie Biossiere, vice president of external affairs at the Casey Foundation, said the report suggests the COVID-19 crisis will likely have the longest-lasting effects on the nation's children.
"All children, in good times and in bad, should have their basic needs met," Boissiere said. "Children should not be hungry. They should have safe, secure housing. They should have access to quality education. Parents should have access to child care, so that they can work to support those families."
The report urges policymakers to push COVID-19 issues to the top of their 2021 agendas. It calls for steps toward racial and ethnic equality, improving children's physical and mental health, helping families achieve financial stability, and better and more equitable funding for schools.
Disclosure: Annie E Casey Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, Education, Juvenile Justice, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …
BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …
LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…
DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …
SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…
CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …
BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …